April 3 – Thursday
Fasting Item(s): Sugars, Desserts, & Candy.
Today’s Scripture: Job 31:24 “Have I put my trust in money or felt secure because of my gold?” NLT
Question: Where does your trust lie?
Devotion: This is a good one!!! Oh, where to begin? I guess the best place to start is with myself. If you notice today’s item(s) to fast from, you will see that it is a common enemy to my diabetic friends as well as to those trying to maintain healthy eating habits. As I sit in my chair, I think to myself, “I gotta lose some weight!” “If only I would listen to good counsel about eating sweets sparingly.” [insert confession] Just today, I’ve eaten Cinnamon Twists from Taco Bell, that topped off with a 30 ounce Mountain Dew, and just finished a Cherry Tootsie Pop. Now that I’ve realized my error in my lack of intentionality of the Fasting Calendar, I’m ashamed to sit here and write this to others as an encouragement. I think to myself, “Can my failures be uplifting to others?” Apart from the reconciliation that only the Holy Spirit can bring, the answer is a flat out “NO!” So back to the initial question, “Where does your trust lie?” In the main part of my day today, I’d say it was in my gut. So now I have a choice, do I sit and wallow in the pity of my errors and let that dictate the remainder of my day and evening or do I “own it” and ask God for His forgiveness for breaking my promise to Him? I will gladly share with you that I chose the latter. His Word to me, “Does no one condemn you?” I said, “No one, Master.” His response, “Neither do I, go on your way. From now on, don’t sin.” (John 8:10-11 MSG) Wait a second!!! Isn’t that the Scripture when Jesus is talking to the adulterous woman whose about to be stoned by the Pharisees? How can I parallel the two?!!! “Thou shalt not eat sweets” isn’t one of the Ten Commandments, but the adultery one is in there. Did I really break a Commandment? I’d have to honestly say to myself and God, “Yes…” You might think that this is a stretch, but what about my breaking a promise isn’t idolatry as well as a form of covetous greed? Did I look to God first this morning to determine the beginning steps of my day? Shamefully, no. Did I consider my promise with God prior to eating that Tootsie Pop? Shamefully, no. One is idolatry, the other is coveting the things of this world – things that I don’t need. We like to pick on money and gold, because most of us think that we don’t have much of either, but we are rich in relation to the other countries across the globe. In fact, the United States nominal GDP is one quarter (25%) the global GDP. Less than 15% of the U.S. population is considered below the poverty line. That means that 85% of Americans have enough money to provide for their needs without Government help. We’re rich in the eyes to roughly 7 billion people in the world. So I will ask it again, “Where does our trust lie?” Is it in the stuff and security that we have? Is it in our 401K’s success in the Market? OR…is our trust in the fact that God repeatedly says that He will provide for our daily needs? The Israelites wandered in the wilderness for 40 years (Joshua 5:6, the fault of their guts too), but their God (OUR GOD) provided for their daily needs…for 14,600 days!!! Now that’s a lot of manna and quail!!! May we realize that we have an abundance, not just for our own good, but for the good of the strangers in our lives. May we be an “open handed” people (Acts 2) who are not greedy or stingy with the blessings of God and may we hear the King of all kings say to us, “I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” (Matthew 25:40 NLT)
Prayer focus: Kids and Parents pray for your school leaders, church leaders and co-workers.
Here’s the free Lent Calendar to follow along the path God is calling us to. Take others on the journey with you, but not in a “look at us” sort of way. This is a humble journey to be endured with the help of God.